The Meaning of Christmas and Tim Tebow

24 Dec

While the title is a method to get more readers, I do think there is something to the connection, which I will get to. The true meaning of Christmas is that the Christ child loved us, so he came to earth to pay the penalty for our sins. When I think of the greatness and momentousness of that gift, I continually stand in awe. I think of the reality of actually being God, yet not considering equality with God something to be grasped. That is tremendous!

While this will doubtlessly be unpacked for you by preachers far more skilled than I over tonight’s services and church tomorrow (as an aside, how awesome is it when we get to go to church on Christmas day!), I will give you a brief summation from my perspective. As we read the pages of Scripture, the coming of Jesus is not relegated to a simple story of a single event, but rather it is central to the entirety of the book. From the very beginning, we see that God created us to honor him. All of the Bible points to the coming of the Christ child and what He accomplishes for us. This is quite a profound understanding when it is grasped. Sometimes the understanding of this is assisted in its accomplishment with other humans who can exemplify characteristics of God in our lives, so they can point us to that one perfect example we have—that same Jesus who came to earth for us, lo those many years ago.

I recently spoke with a friend of mine who was expressing frustration that some aspects of Christmas, particularly some of the Christmas music, was consigned to a small period of time, while the Scriptures do not speak of the first advent as anything of the sort. Christ’s coming is the very lifeblood of the entirety of the text that has the power to transform our lives by being profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness. So while this is a time when the world slows down to recognize it, the meaning of Christmas is present, necessary, and needed throughout our lives at every point of the year.

One of the ways God chooses to show us of the coming of His son (in Matthew 1) is by delineating His heritage. One of the highlighted people in this genealogy, as well as many other places throughout Scripture, is David. David is described in the Scriptures (Acts 13:22 and 1 Samuel 13:13-14) as a man after God’s own heart. David was not only the ancestor of Christ according to the flesh, but he possessed many of the attitudes that were later perfected by Christ, which should characterize all of us who are disciples of Christ.

David, among other things, showed a love for the Scriptures, prayer, and praising God, while hating everything that would take you away from this Truth. He clearly was not perfect, nor is he meant to be the one we are to solely emulate. Nevertheless, as the story of the Christ child coming to earth is woven throughout the fabric of Scripture, so is our call to respond to that message. And I believe the force of that message is one that makes some from a postmodern culture of pluralism bristle. But at this time of year, we can most get away with proclaiming the exclusivity of Christ—as He states, He is The Way. There is no other way to the Father! There is no other way to Salvation.

If the only story in Scripture were of a baby coming, that would be a nice story, but it would not be complete. I feel that too often, we want to put this Christmas season in a box. Jesus came to earth; that is amazing. When I think of the Wondrous sacrifice that a King coming into a land filled with people who are His sworn enemies (until He gives them the strength to not be so), I cannot help but recognize how awesome of a sacrifice that is. Nevertheless coming did not accomplish the task by itself. He had to live a perfect life for many years and then be worthy of taking on the atonement of others, as He did not need personal atonement. Then he actually had to become the propitiation for our sins. And all of that together is an incredible thing that He accomplished. And because he accomplished it and proved to be the way, we can begin to mirror these characteristics.

Mirroring these characteristics means we will lead lives that make people bristle, similar to the claims of our Lord. We see from Daniel in the Old Testament that he was chosen as a youth to be trained. He refused to eat the meat of earthly king, even though almost any nutritionist, even today, will tell you that building strength is more easily accomplished through protein intake. Yet Daniel tested above and beyond those who had the superior diet and training. It finally became so apparent that God’s hand was on Daniel that he became a trusted adviser to kings. This made others so angry that they wanted to get him in trouble. In searching for skeletons in his closet, the only thing on which they could criticize him was that he prayed and served the Lord.

Perhaps the similarities between Daniel and Tim Tebow are obvious to you or maybe you don’t see it at all. Tebow is one who despite methods which virtually everyone agrees are inferior is accomplishing great things. The only criticism that can stick is that he gives too much credit to God. Yet I would tell Tim, as I am sure his advisers are also doing, that this is a criticism worth having. As I have now entered the part of my life where I am most concerned with the rearing of my children, I submit that I would love for my kids to look to Tebow’s actions and mimic them. I’m sure he isn’t perfect, but much like David he reflects many of the qualities, which can only be perfected in Christ. He is willing to accept criticism and actually learn from it. He is respectful. He diverts praise and takes blame. He is willing to take unpopular stands and stand by what he believes. All things which I would love for my kids to reproduce.

This replication of the life of Christ is not something that just happens with wishful thinking or crafty methods. As I stated earlier, Jesus is The Way! He is the very personification of the truth and life, which requires us to need a Savior. By ourselves, we are enemies of God. We plot terrible things, don’t even understand the vastness of our under performance, run from the things of God, and have no fear of God or peace. Precisely because of that atoning work, we can receive the gifts of the One who lived a perfect life. One of the wonderful things of this atonement is that it wasn’t just accomplished so that we could avoid punishment. It was accomplished so that we can serve the One who gave it, live for Him, and begin to reflect Him more.

That then is the true meaning of Christmas. Christ came, lived a perfect life, took our sin, died, and rose again. Therefore we can begin to reflect God. Thanks be to God for his Unspeakable gift. This gift, its recognition and understanding, and acceptance thereby are what we need to get from Christmas, and I think even Tim Tebow may agree!


One Response to “The Meaning of Christmas and Tim Tebow”

  1. Jenni March 5, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    This was such a great post that it all deserves comment. But responding to a post with a post is sort of unnecessary when the post itself is what should be read. So I will just say that my favorite part is the point you made about how a better diet is made by eating meat. Glad you threw that in there.

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